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12.01.19

Links 1/12/2019: Genode OS 19.11 Release, Sam Hartman (DPL) Speaks Out on SystemD

Posted in News Roundup at 3:52 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

  • GNU/Linux

    • Desktop/Laptop

      • Ask Slashdot: Is Your Company Using Linux Desktops?

        I bet Slashdot’s readers have stories to tell, with enlightening experiences in corporate workplaces over the years gone by. So feel free to share your thoughts, opinions, and anecdotes in the comments.

        And is your company using Linux desktops?

    • Kernel Space

    • Benchmarks

      • Threadripper 3970X Performing Better On Windows Relative To Linux – Thanks To Microsoft Or Zen 2?

        With the AMD Ryzen Threadripper 3970X benchmarks on Windows 10 and Linux, Ubuntu 19.10 and other common distributions were just ~2% faster than the Microsoft OS and Clear Linux was just ~10% faster, based on 80+ benchmarks carried out. Those margins are much closer than we have seen with past iterations of Threadripper, but is that due to the Zen 2 microarchitecture and the improved topology of the new Threadripper CPUs or due to Microsoft’s scheduler changes and other software improvements made in Windows 10 November 2019 Update? Here are some benchmarks.

    • Applications

      • 4 best Slack alternatives on Linux

        Slack is a chat app for the workplace. It is used to organize teams, discuss projects, and communicate with co-workers. Overall, Slack is an excellent product and has many useful features. However, not everyone on Linux appreciates Slack. So, in this list, we will discuss the 4 best Slack alternatives on Linux.

      • 4 best Android emulators on Linux

        Are you looking to emulate Android apps on Linux? Tried out a few apps in the past but not sure what ones are good to use? We can help! Here are the 4 best Android emulators to use on Linux!

    • Instructionals/Technical

    • Desktop Environments/WMs

      • K Desktop Environment/KDE SC/Qt

        • KF6 Sprint in Berlin

          Last week I arrived on a rainy Thursday evening in Berlin to attend the KDE Frameworks Kickoff sprint. The next three days were spent with discussions and ideas about the future of the libraries that are the base of most of the software of the KDE Community.

          After arriving at MBition GmbH on Friday we started with reviewing the policies that were in place the last few years for KDE Frameworks 5. This includes for example the release model or on which Qt version to depend. After lunch David Edmundson and Eike Hein gave talks about the KDE community in general and about the advantages using KDE Frameworks libraries can bring to the employees at MBition. In the afternoon that the discussion switched from the past to the future and our goals and design principles that we have in mind for KDE Frameworks 6. Later we already outlined problems with specific frameworks and how our goals will impact them.

          After a needed dose of sleep Saturday started right where Friday left off. We split in small groups to investigate how our design goals (further simplification of dependencies, seperation of UI and logic and seperation of framework and implementation) would influence each library and what has to be done to achieve those goals. To this end each group discussed a single library at a time and after eight libraries in total the results were presented to the whole group. For this we started with the Tier 3 Frameworks which have the most complicated dependencies (Tier 1 Frameworks only depend on Qt).

    • Distributions

      • Windows 10 Clone On The Menu As Hackers’ Favorite Hacking Tool Gets Update

        The feature itself is officially known as Kali Undercover, a theme that can be applied to make the Kali user interface appear to be plain vanilla Windows 10 instead if you don’t look too closely. This theme is part of the fourth, and final, Kali Linux release of 2019 that went public November 26. This update was a big one and has received a mixed reception from the hacking Twitterati who either love the new “Xfce” desktop environment which moves away from the previous Gnome default which is described as coming with “overhead that is not useful for a distribution like Kali,” in the release blog. The new Xfce desktop “does only what it’s needed for, and nothing else,” and is best described as a lightweight yet performance-boosting environment. Offensive Security, the penetration testing and security training company that maintains and funds Kali Linux development, knows the new user interface (UI) won’t be for everyone. “UI can be a bit like religion,” Offensive Security said, “if you don’t want to leave Gnome don’t worry.” That’s because there’s still a Gnome build available, although over time it is expected to morph into something closer to the Xfce user experience regardless.

      • Devuan Family

        • The File /var/lib/dbus/machine-id Matters For Your Privacy (and Devuan Fixed It)

          A few days ago Devuan ASCII 2.1 was announced and one update has been overlooked by most media outlets: our dbus patch to re-generate machine-id at every boot.

          This patch matters for everyone’s privacy and I hope more distributions will follow our example, let alone Debian. We are dealing with important privacy implications: non-consensual user tracking is illegal in many countries and is not even mentioned in the machine-id documentation so far.

      • Debian Family

        • Sam Hartman: The Case for Proposal B
          This is my personal opinion, not that of the project leader. Tomorrow,
          I'll write an essay trying to discuss the various options in with as
          little bias as I can manage (although even that will be Sam's opinion).
          Several people have asked me why I included Proposal B.
          This is my answer.
          
          
          While I was talking to people about systemd and init systems, people
          seemed to inherently assume that being uncomfortable with systemd meant
          that you were in favor of sysvinit, or at least init-script based
          solutions. At least, people who were heavily involved in the issue made
          that assumption. That didn't resonate with me.
          
          
          Several concerns commonly raised with systemd resonate with me:
          
          
          It combines a bunch of things in one project; as an example how you
          start daemons ends up being tied to how you configure the network.
          
          This combination seems like it might reduce innovation at least
          outside of the systemd ecosystem, because interfaces are coupled.
          
          It is Linux specific
          
          
          Of these, the biggest concern for me is the idea that systemd might
          stifle innovation by becoming one point of control.
          
          And yet, in my opinion, systemd is vastly superior to the current
          alternatives. I'd far rather be writing service units than init
          scripts. They are more declarative. Dependencies that I care about are
          easier to express. There are better security isolation facilities. In
          non-Debian work I've found that I depend heavily on systemd because it
          is easier and more pleasurable to code to than the alternatives.
          Declarative syntax for managing users is useful. I haven't personally
          seen the huge joy of socket activation, but if I were writing somewhat
          different things, perhaps I would. Given
          the options today, I would pick systemd hands down and not look back.
          
          
          But what about tomorrow? For me, one of the great things about Debian
          has been that it's possible to integrate new technologies and to try
          things out. Debian has been the OS where I and many others could try
          out new technologies and figure out what it was like to fully integrate
          them into the operating system. Systemd is the best we've got now, but
          I'm reluctant to step away from Debian as a platform for innovation and
          experimentation.
          
          
          Yet I don't think focusing on sysvinit or other init-script based
          solutions actually has anything to do with the kind of innovation I'm
          talking about. I understand that for people who value sysvinit (or
          something like runit) above systemd, that work is valuable. My
          experience is that for my needs, systemd is a better fit. I wanted a
          proposal that allowed us to maintain Debian as a platform for innovation
          without focusing on the legacy of init scripts. I think that if there
          is going to be something that some day replaces systemd, it will support
          service units (or a significant subset) not init scripts. I suspect it
          will have a way to handle socket activation and so on. And I cannot
          imagine a future systemd replacement that does not have advanced
          security isolation features.
          
        • Steinar H. Gunderson: More about the DDR arcade CDs

          I’m continuing my journey throughout the world of the Dance Dance Revolution arcade CDs; it would be interesting to see how moddable they are, even though I don’t have a machine myself (obviously, MAME is absolutely essential here).

          One key fact that I didn’t know about last time, but was eventually alerted to after looking at others’ work, is that the software in flash runs off of a virtual filesystem (VFS). This makes things incredibly much easier than mucking around with offsets everywhere. It’s sort of a strange hybrid, though; read on for more.

          The System 573 mainboard has 16 MB (or 128 Mbit, if you wish) of onboard flash, spread over a few banks, and for the newer digital mixes, this is augmented with a 32 MB PCMCIA flash card (I believe the system can technically address 64 MB, but no software uses it, to the best of my knowledge). When installing the software from CD-ROM, it blits a file called GAME.DAT into the onboard flash and CARD.DAT into the PCMCIA card (plus sets up some checksums at 0xfe0000). Except for a few hard-coded items, they seem to largely be treated equivalently, simply as different backing stores for a single VFS.

          When booting up regularly (SW4 set to booting from flash), it jumps to an address very early in the flash, which contains the bootloader (called boot/psx.bin in the VFS; but the VFS has a too short size for it, so if you trust the size when extracting it, it gets too short!). The bootloader reads the (encrypted) configuration file from 0xFE2000 (addressed as “/.raw=0x1fc4,0×2000” in the VFS, probably partially related ot that the flash is mapped up at 0x1f000000), which contains information about how to address the two flash devices and a bit more. It also reads the file table for the VFS at 0xFE4000, and from there, it’s mostly filesystem time: The bootloader then loads the game itself from soft/s573/aout.exe and boots it.

        • Paul Wise: FLOSS Activities November 2019
        • Chris Lamb: Free software activities in November 2019
        • Sylvain Beucler: Debian LTS and ELTS – November 2019

          Sylvain Beucler: Debian LTS and ELTS – November 2019Here is my transparent report for my work on the Debian Long Term Support (LTS) and Debian Extended Long Term Support (ELTS), which extend the security support for past Debian releases, as a paid contributor.

          In November, the monthly sponsored hours were split evenly among contributors depending on their max availability – I was assigned 24.5h for LTS (out of 30 max) and 20h for ELTS (max).

          Multiple vulnerabilities come from in-process fuzzing (library fuzzing with compiler instrumentation, as opposed to fuzzing a user executable). This is an interesting technique, though those are harder to reproduce, especially with older versions or (even worse) forks. A significant portion of such vulnerabilities comes from google’s OSS-117Fuzz infrastructure.

        • Sparky news 2019/11

          The 11th monthly report of the 2019 of the Sparky project:

          • waterfox package changed its name to waterfox-classic-kpe
          • Sparky 2019.11 Special Editions: GameOver, Multimedia & Rescue released
          • Sparky 2019.11.1 MinimalGUI released to fix: GNOME Shell and KDE Plasma fresh installation; and removing some packages from live
          • added new locales to Sparky tools: Greek provided by jidan; and updated Italian and Japanese locales as well; thank’s a lot for translations
          • Linux kernel updated up to version 5.4.1 & 5.3.14
          • CDE desktop updated up to 2.3.1 (stable & testing lines)
          • added to repos: Videomass

    • Devices/Embedded

    • Free, Libre, and Open Source Software

      • Genode OS

        • Genode OS Framework release 19.11

          Block-device encryption is a feature often requested by users of our Sculpt OS. Until now, we deliberately left this topic unaddressed because we felt that a profound answer was beyond our expertise. However, during the past year, we dived deep into it. The result is the prototype for a new block encrypter that encrypts data but also protects integrity and freshness. For us, the implementation of the encrypter is especially intriguing because – with about 7000 lines of code – it is Genode’s first non-trivial component written in the SPARK programming language.

          The second major addition is a new virtual machine monitor (VMM) for 64-bit ARM platforms such as the NXP i.MX8. It leverages the proof of concept we developed in 2015 for ARMv7, which we pursued as a technology exploration. In contrast, our aspiration with the new VMM is a product-quality solution.

          In our road map for 2019, we stated the “bridging of worlds” as our overall theme for this year. On that account, the current release moves the project forward on two levels. First, by successively increasing the scope of POSIX compatibility, we reduce the friction when porting existing application software to Genode. We managed to bridge several gaps in our POSIX support that we considered as impossible to cover some years ago. In particular, we identified ways to emulate certain POSIX signals, ioctl calls, and fork/execve semantics. This way, popular software such as bash, coreutils, or Vim can now be executed as regular Genode components with no additional runtime environment (like Noux or a VMM) required.

        • Genode OS Framework 19.11 Brings Initial Block Device Encryption Code

          It’s been nearly a decade now that we have been tracking Genode as an interesting open-source operating system framework.

          Genode employs a micro-kernel abstraction layer and various other components written from scratch and not derived from Unix/Linux but offering good POSIX compatibility and continuing to allow more open-source software to build for this platform focused on security.

      • SaaS/Back End/Databases

        • Building FHIR Applications with MongoDB Atlas

          After a vigorous competition, the team at Asymmetrik was awarded winner of the reference implementation of a secure open source FHIR server based on MongoDB. For a deeper dive, the source code is available for developers and architects under the MIT license.

      • Programming/Development

        • A beginner’s guide to C++ Ranges and Views.

          C++ Ranges are one of the major new things in C++20 and “views” are a big part of ranges. This article is a short introduction for programmers that are new to C++ Ranges.

        • Keith Packard: picolibc-float

          Smaller embedded processors may have no FPU, or may have an FPU that only supports single-precision mode. In either case, applications may well want to be able to avoid any double precision arithmetic as that will drag in a pile of software support code. Getting picolibc to cooperate so that it doesn’t bring in double-precision code was today’s exercise.

        • First Stack Buffer Overflow to modify Variable
        • Perl / Raku

          • Advent Calendar – December 1, 2019

            For the purpose of testing the programs below, the words.txt file is located in my current directory. Obviously, when we will be reading the list, we will need to keep only the words having the same length as the two input words.

            This task is much more complicated than the other task of this week challenge (and than most previous challenges). In fact, my first reaction when reading the problem was, “Gosh, I’ve got no idea how I’m going to solve that”. In such case, it is often a good idea to try to break up the problem into smaller ones.

            The first thing that we must be able to do is to figure out whether one word can be transformed into another with just one letter change. It would probably be also very useful to know whether this can be done with two letter changes, three letter changes, etc. For this, we may want to use a well-known CS string metric named the Levenshtein distance or Levenshtein edit distance, which is the smallest number of single-character edits (insertions, deletions or substitutions) required to change one word into the other. In the case of this challenge, however, we probably don’t need to consider insertions and deletions, but are interested only in substitutions.

            Once we have a routine to compute the Levenshtein distance, we might try to use brute force with backtracking to test all possibilities, or an optimized version thereof able to remove non optimal paths relatively early in the process, or a branch and bound algorithm, or implement some form of Dijstra’s algorithm for shortest paths.

        • Python

          • Test and Code: 95: Data Science Pipeline Testing with Great Expectations – Abe Gong

            Data science and machine learning are affecting more of our lives every day. Decisions based on data science and machine learning are heavily dependent on the quality of the data, and the quality of the data pipeline.

            Some of the software in the pipeline can be tested to some extent with traditional testing tools, like pytest.

            But what about the data? The data entering the pipeline, and at various stages along the pipeline, should be validated.

            That’s where pipeline tests come in.

            Pipeline tests are applied to data. Pipeline tests help you guard against upstream data changes and monitor data quality.

            Abe Gong and Superconductive are building an open source project called Great Expectations. It’s a tool to help you build pipeline tests.

            This is quite an interesting idea, and I hope it gains traction and takes off.

          • PyOpenGL 3.1.4 is Out

            So I just went ahead and pulled the trigger on getting PyOpenGL and PyOpenGL Accelerate 3.1.4 out the door. Really, there is little that has changed in PyOpenGL, save that I’m actually doing a final (non alpha/beta/rc) release. The last final release having been about 5.5 years ago if PyPI history is to be believed(!)

          • Weekly Python StackOverflow Report: (ccv) stackoverflow python report
      • Standards/Consortia

        • AMIA encourages NIH to fund FHIR for interoperability and clinical research

          While the FHIR standard is not a cure-all for interoperability challenges, the protocol has seen big momentum in recent years, and is seen as an important bridge between newer mobile devices and hospital networks.

          As a web-based spec that has seen a significant amount of buy-in, the standard could have a large impact on the ability of researchers to access better data.

        • AMIA: FHIR is not suitable for research, needs NIH R&D funding

          According to AMIA, it is critical that NIH assume a leadership position to coordinate a research and development strategy for using FHIR for research and that the agency devote “substantial resources” to the effort.

          Specifically, AMIA recommended that NIH directly fund FHIR research and development through grants; indirectly fund FHIR through special emphasis notices and project requirements that prioritize projects that will use FHIR; and educate the research community and help represent it in activities supported by HL7, the Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT and other standards developing organizations that have an interest in FHIR.

  • Leftovers

    • Indian IT 4.0: Upping the ante on innovation

      India is home to more than half a billion internet subscribers, making it one of the largest and fastest-growing markets for digital consumers. According to a Mckinsey Report, by 2025 widespread digital adoption has the potential to create significant value in all sectors of the economy – for example, E-commerce and digital supply chain have the potential to create $35billion worth value by 2025.

      Also, India is ranked third in the global startup index. According to the Economic Survey, the Indian startup ecosystem witnessed a funding of $7.5 billion in 2018 as compared to $4.3 billion in 2017. As per industry-wide distribution of recognized startups, IT Services accounted for around 15 percent, followed by Healthcare and Life Sciences at around nine percent, and education at eight percent. Start-ups like Byju’s, Swiggy, Oyo Rooms, PayTM, Zomato are all based on technology and they have transformed the face of their respective sectors dramatically.

    • Integrity/Availability

      • Proprietary

        • Security

          • Privacy/Surveillance

            • Microsoft Funds Facial Recognition Technology Secretly Tested on Palestinians

              If you’ve been paying attention, it should come as no surprise that the latest in facial recognition technology is already being weaponized by governments and corporations. Most recently, AnyVision, an Israeli facial recognition tech company funded by Microsoft, has been wielding its software to help enforce Israel’s military occupation, using the occupied West Bank to field-test technology it plans to export around the world.

            • Corporate Spies Are Watching Organized Labor

              Google’s computers are spying on its workers.

            • Google’s “smart city” in Toronto: what it wanted, what it will now get – and why it’s still problematic for privacy

              Earlier this year, Privacy News Online wrote about the latest news concerning plans to create a model “smart city” on Toronto’s waterfront. The company involved, Sidewalk Labs, is part of the Alphabet stable, along with Google. In an attempt to quell fears about privacy and other aspects of the plan, Sidewalk Labs released 1500 pages of documentation spelling out what it wanted to do in Toronto.

            • Whatsapp India reports first profit of Rs 57.18 lakh for FY 2019

              Facebook-owned Whatsapp might have begun commercialising its messaging platform in India just two years ago, but recent disclosures with the Registrar of Companies (RoC) show that Whatsapp India has gone from nil revenue in the 2017-18 financial year (FY18) to actually turning a profit in FY19.

              According to the RoC documents, the unit’s revenues have been derived from its IT-enabled business process and outsourcing services. The messaging platform, which has rapidly become the most preferred messaging service in India, had launched its first business offering for entrepreneurs and corporates in January last year with the roll out Whatsapp Business.

    • Defence/Aggression

      • Iraqi Crowds Erupt in Joyous Celebrations as PM, Elected Under Bush Constitution, Offers to Resign

        AFP Arabic reports that Iraqi Prime Minister Adel Abdulmahdi said Friday he would tender his resignation this weekend after five weeks of massive protests throughout Iraq.

      • What’s Next for Bolivia After Military Coup?

        In 2005, I sat in a lounge off the Senate chamber in La Paz, Bolivia, waiting for an interview. I was wearing my best coat and tie. With my thinning hair and grey mustache, I could pass for a Bolivian of European descent. In fact, numerous people smiled and said “buenos días,” as if I was a familiar face.The senators were mostly white men, reflecting the makeup of Bolivia’s

      • Focus on Early Release of Terror Convict in London Stabbings

        Usman Khan was convicted on terrorism charges but let out of prison early. He attended a “Learning Together” conference for ex-offenders, and used the event to launch a bloody attack, stabbing two people to death and wounding three others.

      • 80 years ago: First day of the Winter War

        In a 1930′s case of “fake news”, Soviet state radio claimed Finnish reports of the air raids were false and that the Soviet Air Force had merely been dropping bread to the starving masses of Helsinki.

    • Transparency/Investigative Reporting

    • Environment

    • Finance

      • A Corporate Tax Even Republicans Should Love

        I moved away from my hometown of Litchfield, Minnesota, several decades ago, and since that time, my politics have veered to the left as those in my hometown have veered to the right. Donald Trump won my family’s western Minnesota congressional district by over 30 percentage points.

      • NHS Staff to Lead Protest Against Trump During His Trip to the UK Amid Rising Privatization Concerns

        The demonstration plans come as new research reveals that nearly £15 billion in health service contracts have been given to private firms since 2015, casting doubt on Tories’ claims that NHS isn’t “up for sale.”

      • Why Are Students Angry? Is Conflict Over Public-Funded Higher Education Only Reason?

        No one in India asked these ­questions when tanks rolled into Tiananmen Square in 1989, after ­student-led protests brought million-­strong crowds into that iconic venue in central Beijing, defying China’s ­authoritarian one-party rule and seeking various freedoms. No one asked this when American students protested against the Vietnam War five decades ago, forcing the Nixon ­administration to blink. Or when the Soweto uprising by Black students in 1976 set in motion a chain of events that turned history’s page on the world’s last legally racist regime. Or when students without count became the lifeblood of India’s freedom movement—joining Gandhi, or sundry revolutionary movements, filling up jails. It’s only the ruling elite in each instance that asked the question. It’s only after freedom that dissenting students again became a troubling bogey, with the Naxalite movement. Or Assam. Or the protests against Indira Gandhi’s authoritarianism. A whole galaxy of mainstream politicians—from the recently dec­eased Arun Jaitley to the jailed Laloo Prasad Yadav to Nitish Kumar and Union minister Ravi Shankar Prasad—found their life’s calling as protesting ­students before or around the Emergency. In world history or in India’s, student politics has been so deeply constitutive of politics that the question “why” can only come from those utterly innocent of history.

    • AstroTurf/Lobbying/Politics

      • Impeachment’s Influence Hazy as Issue in Congressional Races

        Republicans aim to use the House drive toward impeaching President Donald Trump to whittle down Democrats’ majority by dislodging vulnerable incumbents from swing districts loaded with moderate voters.

      • WTO Shutdown: This Is What Democracy Looked Like

        WTO Shutdown 20-Year Anniversary Series:The Shutdown WTO Organizers History Project and Common Dreams have produced this series of ten people’s history accounts and forward-looking lessons from organizers who were in the streets of Seattle in 1999—at the very end of last century…

      • Many Evangelicals Excuse Anything Trump Does — Because He’s the “Chosen One”

        Energy Secretary Rick Perry is the latest Trump official or acolyte to prostrate himself, using cult-like terms, before the president. Trump is, in Perry’s worldview, a man tagged by God to occupy his leadership role. In this, the energy secretary is echoing Secretary of State Mike Pompeo – who has averred Trump may have been chosen by God to defend Israel against Iran – and Sarah Huckabee Sanders, Trump’s erstwhile press secretary, who also argued that God had played a role in Trump’s election. Perry is also mimicking ex-Congresswoman Michele Bachmann, who has argued that Trump is the most “godly, Biblical president” in her lifetime. He is following in the footsteps of Jerry Falwell Jr.’s Liberty University, which produced a movie in 2018 titled The Trump Prophecy that likewise argued President Trump had been chosen by God.

      • Biden Heads to Iowa Looking for a Rebound in Key State

        Joe Biden’s eight-day bus tour across Iowa comes with a message: Reports of his demise in the nation’s first presidential caucus state have been greatly exaggerated.

      • Apple taking ‘deeper look’ at disputed borders for its Maps

        Apple, which showed the controversial annexed Crimean peninsula as part of the Russian territory on its location-based apps, has changed how Crimea is displayed in its Maps and Weather apps and will take a “deeper look” at how disputed borders are shown.

    • Civil Rights/Policing

      • Preparing Native Youth to Steward Ancestral Lands

        It had been more than a 100 years since the Nimíipuu (Nez Perce) people launched a carved canoe in eastern Oregon’s Wallowa Lake. And now in this place, beloved by Chief Joseph and his people, crews from several tribal canoes had gathered and joined in song—songs sung in their language and not heard on that water in generations. Tiyana Casey recalls the power of the occasion…

      • The Last Volunteers On An Island Paradise

        NGOs and volunteers assisting with the migration crisis on Chios, in the Greek Isles, are being forced to pick up the slack from the failed efforts of government and EU authorities. But not only are they being penalised for it, local opposition and resentment continues to swell. Gemma Clarke reports.

      • “Why I Can’t Feel Safe In Bharat”: Woman Sits On Solo Protest Outside Parliament, Detained

        A woman, in her mid 20s, sat on a pavement near parliament on Saturday morning protesting over crimes against women, police said.

        The woman identified as Anu Dubey was holding a placard with a slogan “why I can’t feel safe in my own Bharat” while sitting on the pavement near Parliament gate number 2-3, they said.

        She was asked to go to Jantar Mantar to continue her protest, but when she refused, she was taken to the Parliament Street Police Station in a police vehicle and was seen sobbing, a senior officer said.

      • Sindh govt to grant paternity leave to fathers

        Officials in the provincial government said the finance ministry had written to the authorities in the Sindh Secretariat and other related departments to allow for the 10-day paternity leave for its employees.

    • Monopolies

      • Patents

        • Antitrust think tanks urge Ninth Circuit to affirm Judge Koh’s FTC v. Qualcomm ruling

          As of Saturday morning, 14 (!) amicus curiae briefs supporting the FTC against Qualcomm before the Ninth Circuit have been filed. The previous post discussed Professor Jorge Contreras’s submission as well as a brief signed by 40 law and economics professors. It’ll take a few more posts before I’m done with that flood of filings…

          The American Antitrust Institute (AAI) and Public Knowledge (PK)–the latter is, as the name suggests, more IP-focused, while the former is all about competition enforcement and has more than 130 antitrust lawyers, professors, economists and executives on its advisory board–made a joint submission (this post continues below the document):

        • Former Secretary of Homeland Security, former FTC chairman, and conservative think tank dismiss Qualcomm’s and DOJ’s “national security” arguments

          In its answering brief to Qualcomm’s Ninth Circuit antitrust appeal, the FTC says Qualcomm simply “abandoned” its national security argument before the district court and can’t revive it now. Nevertheless, many of the (by now) 14 amicus curiae briefs supporting the FTC address the topic to some extent–and the one filed by the R Street Institute (a think tank close to the GOP) even focuses entirely on why any “national security” concerns over Judge Lucy H. Koh’s ruling are unfounded because, if anything, Qualcomm’s monopoly poses a threat to national security (this post continues below the document):

        • Four IT industry bodies support FTC against Qualcomm’s appeal: once again, The Industry v. Qualcomm

          In the January 2019 trial, Qualcomm’s #1 problem was that virtually the entire mobile device industry testified against it (apart from a very few companies who, like Qualcomm, refuse to license chipset makers, though a couple of them once lodged their own antitrust complaints against Qualcomm for that reason). In terms of amicus briefs filed with the Ninth Circuit, it’s pretty much the same picture again: companies who failed in the mobile phone business and trolls support Qualcomm (as does Makan “Macomm” Delrahim, the Antitrust Assistant Attorney General who used to work for Qualcomm), while the rest of the industry presents a united front and supports the FTC.

          The collective membership of the four high-tech industry bodies who filed amicus curiae briefs in support of the FTC goes far beyond the ones whose testimony mattered to the district court. That’s because those organizations have many members who care about standards but don’t necessarily implement the cellular standards at issue in this particular case.

          The groups who have now made filings for the FTC and against Qualcomm cound companies like Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook, Microsoft (those five are sometimes collectively referred to as “GAFAM”) among them, but also the likes of Intel, Cisco, eBay, Salesforce, Uber, and major carriers like Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon.

          That’s basically the most vibrant part of the U.S. economy. (We’ll also talk about a couple of briefs filed by automotive industry groups, but not in this post.) And as the briefs note, those companies invest huge amounts in R&D and hold vast numbers of patents.

      • Copyrights

        • SET TV Operator and Manager Must Pay Millions in Piracy Damages

          Amazon, Netflix, and several Hollywood studios have added another victory to their legal track record. A federal court in California has granted a default judgment which orders the owner and an employee of the IPTV service Set-TV to pay over $7 million in piracy damages.

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    Society oughtn't be alarmed by people who say unusual things; it should be wary and sceptical of those corporations ever so eager to silence such people



  3. Unitary Patent (UPC) Died Along With the Credibility of Managing IP and the Rest of the UPC Lobby

    It is pretty astounding that Team UPC (collective term for people who crafted and lobby for this illegal construct) is still telling us lies, even in the absence of underlying supportive facts, and pressure groups disguised as "news sites" latch onto anything to perpetuate an illusion of progress (even in the face of a growing number of major barriers)



  4. IRC Proceedings: Friday, December 06, 2019

    IRC logs for Friday, December 06, 2019



  5. Links 7/12/2019: Fedora 31 Elections Results, Lots of Media Drama Over VPN Bug

    Links for the day



  6. Links 6/12/2019: DRM in GNU/Linux and Sparky Bonsai

    Links for the day



  7. The EPO Rejects Innovation

    The EPO ceased caring about the needs of scientists whose work involves invention; instead, EPO management crafts increasingly lenient guidelines that yield illegal European Patents (not compatible with the EPC) that heavily-besieged EPO judges are unable to stop



  8. Startpage CEO Robert Beens in 'Damage Control' Mode, Trying to Get Startpage Relisted After Selling to a Massive Surveillance Company

    PrivacytoolsIO is being lobbied by the CEO of Startpage to relist Startpage, based on no actual refutations at all



  9. IRC Proceedings: Thursday, December 05, 2019

    IRC logs for Thursday, December 05, 2019



  10. Links 5/12/2019: qBittorrent 4.2.0, Expensive Librem 5 and OpenBSD Bugs

    Links for the day



  11. Microsoft Staff Repeatedly Refuses to Tell How Many People Use WSL, Defends Patent Extortion and Blackmail of Linux Instead

    The people who develop WSL (mostly Microsoft employees) get easily irritated when asked how many people actually use this thing; but more interestingly, however, they reveal their disdain for GNU/Linux and support for Microsoft blackmail (for 'Linux patent tax')



  12. IRC Proceedings: Wednesday, December 04, 2019

    IRC logs for Wednesday, December 04, 2019



  13. Links 4/12/2019: Tails 4.1, UCS 4.4-3 and Proxmox VE 6.1

    Links for the day



  14. Google Tightens Its Noose

    Now it’s official! Google is just a bunch of shareholders looking to appease the Pentagon at all costs



  15. Europeans Still Need to Save the European Patent Office From Those Who Attack Its Patent Quality

    Patent quality is of utmost interest; without it, as we're seeing at the EPO and have already seen at the USPTO for a number of years, legal disputes will arise where neither side wins (only the lawyers win) and small, impoverished inventors or businesses will be forced to settle outside the courts over baseless allegations, often made by parasitic patent trolls (possessing low-quality patents they don't want scrutinised by courts)



  16. We Never Accepted and Will Never Accept Corporate Money

    Corporate money is a unique problem because of its magnitude and the fact that it's impersonal; shareholders can only ever accept its supposed justifications if they're receiving something in return (of proportional worth to the payment/transaction)



  17. IRC Proceedings: Tuesday, December 03, 2019

    IRC logs for Tuesday, December 03, 2019



  18. Links 3/12/2019: elementary OS 5.1 Hera, Plasma 5.17.4, Firefox 71

    Links for the day



  19. Laundering the Reputation of Criminals: That's an Actual Job

    An important reminder that the manufactured, paid-for (media is being bribed) image of Bill Gates is the product of the PR industry he enlisted to distract from his endless crimes



  20. 'Priceless' Tickets to the EPO's Back End and Team UPC

    CIPA's and the EPO's event (later this week) is more of the same; the EPO exists not to serve European businesses but a bunch of law firms and their biggest clients (which usually aren't even European)



  21. IRC Proceedings: Monday, December 02, 2019

    IRC logs for Monday, December 02, 2019



  22. New EPO Leak Shows That the Rumours and Jokes Are Partly True and We Know Who 'Runs the Show'

    Europe’s second-largest institution is so profoundly dysfunctional, a reprehensible kakistocracy of tribalism, money-grabbing career-climbing autocrats and possibly major fraud; today’s leak looks at what motivated and enabled the formation and latest incarnation of “Team Campinos”



  23. Links 2/12/2019: Linux Mint 19.3 Beta, DPL Sam Hartman Talks About SystemD

    Links for the day



  24. What Former Debian Project Leader (Second to the Late Ian Murdock) Thinks About SystemD in Debian GNU/Linux

    Now that Debian is debating and voting on diversity in the technical sense the thoughts of Bruce Perens merit broader audience/reach



  25. Free/Libre Software Will Eventually Become the Norm, 'Open Source' is Just Proprietary Software Trying to 'Buy Time'

    More people are starting to ask questions about Free software while “Open Source” languishes (people can see it’s just a mask for proprietary software); it was a two-decade delaying tactic that’s wearing off (people see GitHub and the OSI/Linux Foundation for what they really are)



  26. IRC Proceedings: Sunday, December 01, 2019

    IRC logs for Sunday, December 01, 2019



  27. Richard Stallman is Active and Doing Well

    The rumour mill may still be humming along; but against all odds — as Chief GNUisance of the GNU Project — Stallman keeps fighting the good fight (in the face of growing resistance)



  28. Banning Former Microsoft Employees Who Complain About Microsoft Lies, Abuses and Crimes

    The official account of Windows Insider is banning people whom it never even spoke to; this seems like a way of 'punishing' people who are not 'true believers' in Microsoft



  29. Wikileaks: Thierry Breton May Have Misused Regulatory/Government Positions to Attack His Competition (in the Market)

    Thierry 'revolving doors' Breton as seen by the United States government



  30. 13 Years of UPC Promises

    The anatomy of UPC 'fake news' or lobbying tactics along the lines of self-fulfilling prophecies and false predictions


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